In a nation obsessed with the right now, few things have held up over the past 50 years as well as the Ford Mustang. The first pony car debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and instantly became a tent pole of Americana. Before the model officially turns 50 on April 17, 2014, Ford will celebrate its lasting contribution to the postwar-boom culture with a brand-new, much anticipated Mustang.
But the times, they are a changin’ (yep, a song also released in 1964). Ford’s American icon continues to gain offshore admirers. The Blue Oval plans to sell the next Mustang globally, and to appease overseas buyers, the car will need to be lighter and more efficient. But that’s not to say that traditional fans will be disappointed.
While the new Mustang will keep the somewhat hefty proportions of its predecessor, exterior dimensions will shrink ever so slightly. It will also cease to have a stand-alone styling within Ford's lineup. A number of design cues will evoke the familial design language pioneered by the Fusion and the Mustang's new front end has clearly been influenced by the brand's EVOs concept from the 2011 Frankfurt show.
The car’s headlight motif joins the rest of the Ford family, but the upright grille remains Mustang-esque. It makes subtle use of the brand’s current Aston Martin-via-Dearborn mouth while still maintaining an appearance that’s unflinchingly pony car. The design process has taken longer than the folks at Ford would’ve hoped, we’re told, after the initial proposal was rejected for not being Mustang enough. We imagine that it was a little too Euro-soft, a little too much like the Evos.
Interior: Retro is not completely dead in the new cockpit, either. Two large, tubular gauges will continue to sit in front of the driver as they do today, and circular air vents will reside atop the center stack, flanked by a rectangular duct at each end. The upper portion of the dashboard will be canted forward and have dual cowls, another cue from the Mustang museum.
The center stack will offer either traditional stereo and HVAC controls or the MyFord Touch do-everything touch screen, available for the first time in a Mustang. After taking a drubbing in customer-satisfaction surveys, Ford is emphasizing the evolution of the MyFord Touch interface. The next-gen system debuts in the Mustang, offering redundant buttons and switchgear for those who prefer to handle real controls instead of virtual ones. The changeable ambient lighting continues, but it will spread beyond the dials, cup holders, and speakers to other points within the cabin, something also found in European luxury cars like the new S-class.
At launch, the Mustang will be available with the same engine options offered by the current Mustang: a naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V-6 and the "Coyote" 5.0-liter V-8, each with the same power ratings as the Mustangs on showroom floors today (305 and 420 horsepower, respectively). Transmissions, too, will carry over at the outset, with shoppers given a choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. That will change in the two to three years after launch, when the 10-speed car being jointly developed with GM will replace the six-speed slushbox.
However, the Mustang's 2015 model year will be a long one-as was in 1965-and thus, Ford will offer powertrain upgrades in the months after its launch. Updates to the V-6 will be minimal, but we understand that the GT-badged "five-oh" will jump to 500 horsepower.
A Stable Full of Wild Horses
Ford has many plans for ultra -high-performance Mustangs . The first will be a successor to the Shelby GT500 - branded , and the company will continue to offer Ford 's " Trinity " supercharged 5.8 - liter V - 8 making 662 horses . Past the new gene - Shelby GT500 , Ford has additional powertrain options for two more hi - per nameplates .The first is a twin - turbocharged V - 8 , code - named " Voodoo , " which displaces between 5.0 and 5.5 liters and , most intriguingly , has a " flat - plane" or 180 - degree crankshaft , as Ferrari has used in its V -8s since in 1973. This configuration , also found in the late Lotus Esprit V - 8 , is akin to connecting two four- cylinder banks is a common crankshaft . Flat cranks theoretically improve power , throttle response , and the soundtrack at the expense of greater vibration . This EcoBoost V - 8 will produce between 550 and 600 horses . It will power a Shelby GT350 - branded model that will eventually take over from the GT500 , and Ford is desperate to discontinue car that 's costly and thirsty Trinity